McGoogan , Leon S.
Leon Steiner McGoogan was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, August 13, 1900, son of Milton S. and Mary L. Steiner McGoogan. He graduated from Lincoln High School in 1918, and in 1922, he received an A.B. degree from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.
McGoogan attended University of Nebraska College of Medicine from 1921-23. He transferred to the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine, and received his M.D. in 1925. He interned at the University Hospital of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, completing a residency in gynecology, 1927-28. He served a residency in obstetrics at the Royal Victoria Maternity Hospital, Montreal, 1928-29. He also completed a fellowship in general surgery at Truesdale Clinic Hospital, Fall River, Massachusetts.
In 1930 McGoogan returned to Omaha, to set up private practice in obstetrics and gynecology. In 1931 he began working as a volunteer instructor at the University of Nebraska College of Medicine. He married Vera Kelley of Omaha in 1934. He credited her with attracting patients to his practice through her and her mother’s friends in sororities and church groups.
By his own estimate, McGoogan delivered some 9,000 babies since starting practice in Omaha in 1931. During World War II, he was one of only five obstetricians remaining in Omaha. He delivered an average of 50-60 babies a month at Immanuel Hospital where his private practice was located. He served as chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Nebraska College of Medicine, from 1950-55, and again from 1961-62. For nearly sixty years he was an instructor in OB/GYN, and in his later years was Senior Consultant to the department.
In addition to his clinical and teaching duties, he volunteered for many organizations, including Planned Parenthood, Swanson Center for Nutrition, American Cancer Society, University of Nebraska Foundation, COM Alumni Association, First Presbyterian Church, and the Center for Great Plains Studies at UNL.
McGoogan served many professional and medical organizations, too numerous to mention here. For his service to the Library of Medicine, the library was named in his honor in 1978. He said his proudest achievement was the Library of Medicine, having served on the library committee from 1950 until his death in 1993. In 1967, he was asked by Dean Wittson, the COM Alumni Association, and the University Foundation to help raise money to build a new library. If $300,000 could be raised privately, the federal government would match those funds with $1.2 million from a funding program to build medical libraries. He eventually led the way to raising over $385,000 to build and endow the new library
In 1979, McGoogan founded the Friends of the Library, and upon his death in 1993, he left a substantial fund to endow library operations. Not only did he lead the way in fund-raising and monetary donations himself, but he also donated his own rare book collection, and contributed his knowledge through the many lectures on various rare books in the collection, and on the history of medicine as well. He was known around Omaha for his distinctive personalized Nebraska license plates, which said “STORK.”
Dr. McGoogan died on September 1, 1993, in Omaha, and is buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery.
Found in 3 Collections and/or Records:
Oral history interview: digital file of the interview video and a transcript. The interview discusses medical education at the University of Nebraska College of Medicine and the growth of the medical library.
The Leon S. McGoogan collection comprises material created by and about Dr. Leon S. McGoogan. The collection contains correspondence, reprints, news clippings, information about rare book collecting, medical library meeting minutes, Swanson Center for Nutrition meeting minutes, Immanuel Hospital material, Planned Parenthood and American Cancer Society materials.
Oral history interview: audio cassette, digital file of the recording, and a transcript. The interview discusses medical education and the medical library at the University of Nebraska College of Medicine in the mid-twentieth century.